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Black and Blue

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  78,011 ratings  ·  1,634 reviews
For eighteen years, Fran Benedetto kept her secret. And hid her bruises. And stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father. And because, in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten-year-old son's face, Fran finally made a choice--and ran for both their lives.

Now she is starting over in a city far from home, far
Paperback, Delta Fiction, 288 pages
Published August 25th 2010 by Delta Publishing (first published April 1st 1998)
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Michelle Just finished it and was again blown away by Anna Quindlen's writing skills.

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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  78,011 ratings  ·  1,634 reviews

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Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anna-quindlen
Read when it came out in 1998 because it was an Oprah's bookclub selection, Black and Blue made me a lifetime fan of Quindlen's writing. A powerful book about the survivor of an abusive marriage and her son who is putting the pieces of her life back together, Black and Blue is a poignant tale of perseverance of a strong female protagonist.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

"I stayed because I thought things would get better, or at least not worse. I stayed because I wanted my son to have a father and I wanted a home. For a long time I stayed because I loved Bobby Benedetto, because no one had ever gotten to me the way he did. I think he knew that. He made me his accomplice in what he did, and I made Robert mine."

Anna Quindlen's book about domestic violence will leave you saddened, enraged and also hopeful. She allowed me to really see into the heart and
ZaBeth  Marsh
May 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to ZaBeth by: Books and Broads
If you have been lucky enough never to have been hit by a man, Anna Quindlen Black and Blue is written so that you can walk in a beaten woman’s shoes. No intelligent woman would ever stay with a man who hits her, right? But love does many things to a person and intelligence is usually the first thing that goes.

No one argues that love and lust of a woman, such as the beautiful Helen, which poets have written about for centuries, could launch a thousand ships. So why is it so amazing to think
Susan Siraco
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was entering 9th grade, and it changed my life. This may have been because of my age, but for me, Fran was a woman who did what I had never realized you could do- she left a horrible situation to make her life better. This book still inspires me, still makes me cry, and still gives me hope that no matter how bad something may get, you still have the power to help yourself. I would recommend this book to anyone over 15!
May 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: c-the-okay
I have to admit that I wasn't very surprised when I looked up this title on Internet Movie Database and saw that this book had been made into a movie. Nor was I surprised that it was a made for TV movie. And I'm going to take a wild shot in the dark and say it was specifically made for Lifetime... Television for Women. Because everything about this book kept bringing up that whispery woman's voice as the narrator. I kept hearing, "Anna Quindlen... A writer for women..." No joke.

But don't get me
Black and Blue is the story of a woman who flees an abusive relationship, taking her son and attempting to disappear into residential Florida, all the while waiting for her husband, a New York cop, to find and hurt her. The book is not Quindlen's best and while it is readable, and at less than 400 pages a manageable length, it feels like little more than a Lifetime "woman's" movie in novel form. I wouldn't recommend this book, especially in comparison to Quindlen's other work, although the ...more
Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
This book first came out in 1998 and is about a woman in an abusive marriage who finally decides to leave after 15 years. At the time I read the book I was married to an abusive husband and really identified with the characters. I did end up leaving my 14 year marriage less than a year later.
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A resolution of mine for 2013 was to read books by authors new to me. I have several favorite writers, and I concentrate much of my reading on their works. I had heard of Anna Quindlen over the years, but had never read anything by her. I picked up this paperback in a Goodwill store. Even though I believed that it was primarily directed toward a female readership, I thought it sounded interesting and decided to buy and read it. I retired after working twenty-four years as a police dispatcher, so ...more
When Funmi Met Romance

Ever read a book that you almost felt like you didn't have a right to criticize?

This book made me feel that way, and that is why I have put off writing a review. However, I told my teacher that I would eventually do it. I was required to pick a book out to read for my last week of high school in my Advanced Literature class that had some type of connection to my family. So, I chose this book. My family is quite familiar with this book's topic. I'm blessed in that I am not personally affiliated
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"I stayed because I thought things would get better. I stayed because I wanted my son to have a father" I stayed because I wanted a home. I stayed because I loved Bobby."

This book is a MUST read for anyone that says "Whys don't they just leave?", often said without compassion or understanding.

I worked for a large Domestic Violence agency for many years and I have talked, safety planned and sat and listened to many women (and some men) in these situations. The answer to the question, "Why don't
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book compelled me to read but I didn't really like it. I was never really engaged with Beth and the writing style made it very difficult to empathize with her. The book is about domestic violence and a woman's escape and her new life, but so much of it is simply within Beth's head it is difficult to really get caught up in the story. It's almost like the reader is just thinking along with Beth and it's dull, everyday thoughts. Her relationships with the people she meets in La Plata are ...more
May 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2007
I would not have picked up Black and Blue, with its proudly-displayed "Oprah's Book Club" emblem, had it not been a quarter at the annual neighborhood yard sale, but seeing as it was under a dollar, and was written by a journalist I admire, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Basic plot: smart woman in abusive relationship almost dies from a beating, and finally leaves with her son. She starts a new life, but it is clouded by the threat of her husband finding her. Quindlen creates a believeable world ...more
Nat Walton
This is a truly heartbreaking novel. The only real downside is that Quindlen's syntax would throw me off sometimes. Other than that, this is a quick, sad and true-to-reality read that I'm glad I picked up.
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So--I'd put Anna Quindlen on my short list of favorite authors, for a half-dozen reasons with the most important being her lucid, lyrical writing. Every Quindlen book I've read turns a commonplace story (and domestic violence is as commonplace as it gets) into a gorgeously rendered, delicately layered case study of ordinary life events. In many ways, Anna Quindlen is the diametric opposite of the Lifetime movie writing--none of her characters are all bad or all good, and her plots aren't ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
If you don't like wife beater books, then this one's not for you. Fran Benedetto begins her first person narrative while sitting on a bench waiting for further instructions from a woman who's helping her run away from her alcoholic and wildly abusive husband (with their 10-year-old-son in tow). The book follows her as she begins her new life, which in my opinion is much better than reading about her getting beaten all the time wondering why she won't leave. Good insight into the horrifying and ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Written from a first-person narrator's perspective, this is an insightful view of domestic abuse from the victim, Fran Benedetto. Fran was in an abusive marriage for 18 years when she finally had enough, took her son, and went into hiding under a new identity. This book is filled intensively with Fran's feelings about the relationship with her policeman husband, her reasons for staying with him, and her feelings/fear after leaving. I think it helped me understand a little better why a woman ...more
Jul 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
I love Oprah books, okay? I just do. I love dark, heavy depressing subjects. I always have, most likely always will. I love reading about betrayal and revenge and cheats and liars. So I enjoyed this one. I didn't love it; it was sometimes predictable and wasn't always well organized, but it kept me engaged and wanting to hear more, which is all I really ask of a book: ENTERTAIN ME. If they do more, that's fantastic. This one wasn't fantastic, but I still enjoyed it and wanted to find out what ...more
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I don't know why but I found this book really intense and couldn't put it down. I learned for the first time that organizations exist that will relocate battered wives and set them up with completely new identities, and how difficult but very necessary this is for the wife and her child(ren). Anna Quindlen's style is easy to read and follow. In no time I felt I knew Fran and all her emotional and physical bruises well.
The main character was stupid from beginning to end, so it was difficult for me to muster up even a little sympathy for her tragic situation.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the the story of Frances (Fran) Benedetto. On the surface a successful nurse with a handsome policeman husband and adorable son. All seems well and the marriage seems perfect but there are dark threads woven throughout and they are about to become unraveled. Fran is the victim of physical abuse from her husband Bobby. Bobby's job as a policeman is to protect...but who is going to protect Fran? Because Bobby is liked and respected by his peers...Fran fears that she'll lose her son so she ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What? I read a book in only 2 days (both of which were days I worked a full shift) and still only gave 2 stars? But why?

Well, here's the thing. This isn't the sort of book I normally read. Black and Blue would not have blipped on my radar, except for the fact that I own it. And why do I own it? I don't know! But if I have to venture a guess, I'll say that my sister-in-law either gave it to me directly, or she was culling her own collection of books and I picked this one up. I've never been one
Nov 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was not a cheery book, but spousal abuse is not a happy subject. Even though it took Fran a long time to finally break away from her husband, I admired her for being strong and doing what she needed to do for her son. The author did a good job of making me feel Fran/Beth's emotions. I read a few reviews where the readers didn't like the ending, because it wasn't happy. Even though the ending was hard to read and made me very sad, I appreciated that the author didn't end it the way a book ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 15%

I thought a talented author would tell a more engaging tale about abuse and the struggles to leave/stay/hide. You know pull the curtain back a bit. By exposing it, we learn. But the story was told so boringly that I don't feel like it's time well spent and I wasn't engaged a bit.

Darn it now back to music in the car.
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing book - no real surprise given the author. A story of a woman whose marriage has slipped into one of domestic abuse, impacting not just the two of them but their young son as well.

But this book is powerfully crafted, and surprisingly, told in the first person. Ms. Quindlen manages to cover both the major dramatic moments, as well as the mundane moments that make up daily life. And she does an excellent job of putting a face to domestic abuse, and helps to explain why it happens
Book Club Mom
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Fran Benedetto has been hiding a terrible secret for years, but when her husband, Bobby hits her so hard he breaks her nose and splits her lip, she knows she has to leave. Patty Bancroft, a famous women’s advocate, knows exactly what to do to help women like Fran. So Fran trades one secret for another and leaves New York with her ten-year-old son, Robert, to start a new life with a new identity in a secret place.

Black and Blue takes a hard look at the complicated dynamics in abusive
Jane Stewart
3 stars. It was good because it was thought provoking. But it had a downer quality. Not entertaining enough.

This book showed what Fran’s life was like during the first year after she ran from her violently abusive cop husband. She was in hiding. A group helped her by giving her a new name, id cards, a job, and an apartment. She’s not happy but doing ok. She makes a few friends. Her son is around age 11. He is doing ok but shows psychological scars from years of being around his mother getting
3.5 stars for Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen.

Black and Blue is about Fran Benedetto who flees an emotionally and physically abusive marriage with her son, Robert. Fran's husband, Bobby is controlling, manipulative, and downright nasty to her, and after a particularly severe beating, she has had enough so she takes off.

The plot then relates what happens to Fran and Robert after they are relocated. It is a story of survival, of standing up for one's self, of new beginnings, and of hope for
Mrs. Tongate
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, teen
Page 71 "When I'd imagined marriage, when I was standing at the altar of St. Stannie's, I'd never imagined staring at the ceiling, the back of my hair matted with blood, willing my husband to get done and get off."

Page 72 "When we were dating, I thought it would stop when we were married. When we were married, I thought a baby would help. After the baby, I thought if we had another child he'd feel better. When Robert was 2, I couldn't leave because those were the formative years. When
Paige Brydson
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mature readers
Recommended to Paige by: Bound Together
Shelves: owned-books
3 1/2 stars rounded up

Anna Quindlen paints a heart-wrenching picture of an abusive relationship and a mom who only wants the best for her child. I thoroughly enjoyed Quindlen's beautiful writing style and found myself very drawn in from the beginning. About halfway through I did have a hard time pressing on hence the 3 & 1/2 stars. Otherwise this would have EASILY been a 4 star book.

I will admit, it did have me in tears while reading it on my flight. Sorry to the lovely gentleman next to
Adriane Devries
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-clubbing
Black and Blue portrays the plight of an abused wife who, after years of living in domestic terror and shame, finally decides to flee with her son to a new, anonymous life. As the bruises from her most recent, most violent, encounter heal, her new life provides the peace and safety for her to heal emotionally, to discover who she really is underneath the trauma she’s been surviving. In particular, she uses the time to bond with her son and to watch carefully for signs that he, too, will become ...more
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Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of eight novels: Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue, Blessings, Rise and Shine, Every Last One, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, and Miller’s Valley. Her memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, published in 2012, was a number one New York Times ...more
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